Fired up about fire


1. Houston ditched by certainly one of his mates

Left to proper: Premier Tim Houston, Business Minister Suzanne Corkum-Greek, Public Works Minister Kim Masland, Service Nova Scotia Minister Colton LeBlanc. Photo: Jennifer Henderson

In late July, Premier Tim Houston introduced that his authorities was abolishing 5 crown firms and consolidating them into two. Above is Jennifer Henderson’s photograph from the media convention asserting the information.

The two new entities, Invest Nova Scotia and Build Nova Scotia, have been to be led by Tom Hickey and Wayne Crawley, respectively. Henderson wrote:

Houston instructed journalists he’s “followers” of each entrepreneurs and considers them mates. 

Zane Woodford famous that Hickey owns an organization related to a plan to infill Dartmouth Cove:

“Mr. Hickey can be president and CEO of T. Hickey Enterprises, which has been working since 2001. T. Hickey Enterprises has 13 working firms below his administration. He can be CEO of Atlantic Road Construction and Paving Ltd.”

The CFO of Atlantic Road Construction and Paving Ltd., Bruce Wood, is the proprietor of 4197847 Nova Scotia Ltd., the corporate making use of to dump slate excavated from building websites into the Halifax Harbour at Dartmouth Cove, because the Halifax Examiner reported in May.

Sometimes your mates bail on you although. In a press release launched this morning, Houston says he has “reluctantly” accepted Hickey’s resignation:

Public service, in all of its varieties, requires nice sacrifice from those that tackle the problem, and I respect Mr. Hickey’s candour in assessing his capability to make the sacrifices mandatory to offer the extent of consideration that Invest Nova Scotia requires. I need to thank him for his lengthy profession of service to the province.

The Minister and Department of Economic Development will lead Invest Nova Scotia to make sure a clean management succession throughout this time of transition.

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2. Newcomer Health Clinic will get finances increase

A sign on a wall outside a clinic with glass doors.

The Newcomer Health Clinic within the Mumford Professional Centre. Photo: Suzanne Rent

This merchandise was written by Yvette d’Entremont.

The Newcomer Health Clinic in Halifax acquired some excellent news on Tuesday.

The province introduced a further $684,000 yearly for the Mumford Road clinic, tripling its finances to greater than $1 million. 

In a media launch, the Department of Health and Wellness stated the clinic offers well being care to government-assisted refugees, privately-sponsored refugees, and refugee claimants. 

Refugees can get vaccinations, persistent illness administration, and routine major care on the clinic, which works to transition its sufferers to a household observe inside two years.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, the clinic — which presently has 2,715 sufferers — operated on an annual finances of $340,000 to which the province offered $50,000. The the rest got here from different companions. 

“Nova Scotia has change into house to numerous newcomers, and our province has confirmed itself to be a protected harbour for households who’ve confronted such unimaginable adversity,” Dr. Tim Holland, medical lead of the Newcomer Health Clinic, stated within the launch.

“This funding places the Newcomer Health Clinic on sustainable footing to have the ability to present major healthcare for newly arrived refugees to Nova Scotia for the foreseeable future.”

The province stated the funding will likely be used for extra companies and employees, together with a social employee, a household observe nurse to assist extra sufferers, and a co-ordinator to assist households navigate companies by way of the IWK Health Centre. 

The clinic is a partnership between Nova Scotia Health, native physicians, the Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Refugee Clinic, and the IWK.

“We have a accountability to make sure the well being and security of everybody in our province. This contains individuals who have fled their nation seeking security in Nova Scotia,” Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson stated within the launch.

“Some of those sufferers have complicated medical wants or are experiencing trauma. They could face language obstacles or haven’t acquired correct medical take care of years. We’re happy to proceed supporting the wonderful work of this clinic.”

The funding comes from the 2022-23 finances. 

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3. “Shared housing” cleared for rural and suburban areas

The metropolis has condemned this rooming home at 2179 Gottingen Street. Photo: Halifax Examiner

Zane Woodford experiences on council’s resolution to legalize shared housing throughout the municipality:

Rooming homes are extra inexpensive than bachelor or one-bedroom flats, however the municipality mainly regulated them out of existence by requiring licensing and registration within the early 2000s. (This 2017 Planifax video sums it up properly.)

The Centre Plan legalized shared housing within the city areas of HRM, and the bylaw amendments earlier than council on Tuesday made the change throughout the municipality.

It’s necessary to notice shared housing doesn’t solely imply rooming homes, but in addition sure types of supportive housing.

One of the considerations that got here up was parking:

There are not any minimal parking necessities within the bylaw amendments. [Social policy planner Jillian] MacLellan stated parking could be a barrier to the viability of shared housing, particularly if one house have been required for every bed room, and it makes the event costlier…

Deputy Mayor Pam Lovelace was involved about rural areas, the place there isn’t any entry to transit and folks depend on automobiles. She anxious about automobiles lining the shoulders of Peggy’s Cove Road.

Last evening, simply as Woodford instructed me he was scripting this story, I noticed a tweet from New Yorker Will Thomas, discussing a neighborhood board assembly:

Listening to a Bronx CB11 listening to for Just Home, a 100% inexpensive undertaking for the previously incarcerated with complicated medical wants—extreme renal illness, stage 4 most cancers, coronary heart failure. CB member has already requested “Where will they park?”

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4. Open pit mine accredited by regardless of considerations from Nova Scotia Environment employees

An aerial shot of an open pit mine

This contributed photograph reveals waste rock being trucked into and levelled on the backside of the open pit of the Atlantic Gold’s Touquoy gold mine.

Joan Baxter digs into the story behind Environment and Climate Change minister Tim Halman’s August 2 approval of a brand new open pit gold mine on the Eastern Shore:

Signal Gold, which till lately was referred to as Anaconda Mining (an anaconda is a huge snake that strangles its prey), plans to function the double-pit gold mine on the southern tip of Gold Brook Lake and on both facet of Gold Brook, and course of 4,000 tonnes of ore per day, with mine closure to start in 2036. One of the open pits will likely be 128 metres under sea stage, about twice as deep as Fenwick Towers in Halifax is tall.

While Halman stated he had thought-about any adversarial environmental results earlier than approving the mine, Baxter factors out that the mining firm’s submission, filed in June, is sort of 6,000 pages lengthy:

The public, the federal government scientists in Halman’s division, and specialists in different provincial and federal authorities departments had simply 30 days to learn and remark on the door-stopper of a proposal.

This led a number of authorities scientists to confess of their feedback that the brief time-frame within the Class I environmental evaluation meant they have been unable to check greater than small elements of Signal Gold’s proposal.

A senior fisheries biologist from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) wrote that due to the “restricted time interval allotted to DFO for overview and the extent of the fabric submitted, the Department couldn’t conduct an in depth overview of the whole submission package deal.”

Scientists in Halman’s personal division raised pink flags too, however to no avail.

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5. Arrested for attempting to entry care

Aerial view of a hospital and helipad

The Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre. Photo: Nova Scotia Health

CBC reporter Josh Hoffman has a narrative on Emily Black, a 21-year-old autistic lady with psychological sickness who needed to journey from Amherst to Moncton to entry care.

Black has bipolar dysfunction, and was manic and suicidal when her father referred to as 911 for assist. The police took her to the native ER, the place there was no psychiatrist on employees. Black says she was instructed she might keep in a single day and see somebody the following morning, however at 7 AM she was woken up and instructed to go away the hospital. That’s when her dad drove her to Moncton the place, Black says, she was admitted to hospital immediately.

Stories of individuals going to the ER and having to drive elsewhere to get the care they require are, sadly, not all that unusual. But the place psychological well being care differs is the involvement of police.

With Black experiencing mania, who does her dad name? 911. That’s who you’re purported to name, as a result of there normally aren’t different choices. (Yes, cell disaster exists, however entry is proscribed, they usually additionally include police.) At worst, calling police when somebody is within the midst of a psychological well being disaster may end up in their loss of life. But way more typically, the one that wants assist winds up arrested.

Black herself had beforehand been arrested for refusing to go away the ER.

From Hoffman’s story:

The head of Nova Scotia Legal Aid’s new Mental Health Legal Services workplace says it’s widespread for people who find themselves affected by a psychological well being sickness and attempting to entry care to be arrested.

“I see it on a regular basis. I see it each week,” Kelly Rowlett stated in an interview. “If I had a nickel for each time anyone received arrested for attending a hospital or in a care facility, I’d be wealthy and that’s simply unhappy.”

The backside of the CBC story’s web page lists sources, together with the Canadian suicide prevention hotline. They don’t assure they gained’t name the police both:

If you might be calling about your self and also you want emergency assist, the responder will make each effort to assist you and assist get you to a protected place. We will strive different choices for security planning earlier than contacting emergency companies. We’re not in a position to promise we gained’t name 911, however we are going to do our greatest to assist you no matter occurs.

If you’re pondering about reaching out to us however you’re uncertain since you’re anxious about emergency companies being concerned, please name or textual content us — we are able to discuss it by way of with you.

We desperately want a psychological well being disaster response different.

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Fired up about fire

Frontcountry campsite, showing a tent, a picnic table with gear on it, a stack of firewood beside a fire pit, and an SUV in the background.

Frontcountry tenting at Keji. Photo: Philip Moscovitch

I spent final week tenting in PEI with household. We are all long-time campers. In addition to the week in PEI, this summer time my accomplice and I’ve additionally deliberate frontcountry tenting journeys to Fundy National Park and Antigonish County, as a properly as a four-day back-country Keji canoe journey.

While I really like tenting, it additionally seems like a considerably paradoxical exercise. There is a way of getting near nature in case you are at a campsite, however whilst you could also be surrounded by bushes, you might be additionally in a rigorously constructed atmosphere. This level actually will get pushed house in case you get the chance to see a campground below building: plenty of grime being moved round, bushes reduce, floor flattened, pipes and electrical infrastructure being run to websites.

Then, in fact, there’s all of the burning. There all of us are on our campsites, cooking over fires fuelled by propane, butane, or wooden. In the night, we sit round smoldering fires, burning the overpriced inexperienced wooden bought by the park.

One enchancment: the chug-chug-chugging of turbines appears to have largely disappeared, as individuals use photo voltaic panels to energy the gear on their websites.

Backcountry campers could really feel snobbish about automotive campers, however that is the equal of sniffing that you just’re a traveller, not a vacationer, as you go to all the identical websites because the vacationers, however whereas feeling superior. Even correctly practiced, backcountry tenting may cause appreciable harm, as this piece from Outside journal notes:

 In high-use areas, clusters of impromptu campsites can ultimately merge into “megasites” that result in erosion, ruining vegetation, and huge swaths of naked soil that improve pollution in waterways, set off algae blooms, and have an effect on trout copy.

It occurs quick. A thriving meadow can rework right into a compacted, uncovered patch of grime in as little as ten nights with a tent on prime of it, [Jeff] Marion [of the U.S. Geological Survey] says, and as soon as it’s been used usually for a season or two, it will probably take years—typically a long time—to completely get well. “Impact happens in a short time,” Marion says, “however restoration is an extremely sluggish course of.”

A 2019 research from the University of Alberta by Clara-Jane Blye that in contrast attitudes of frontcountry and backcountry campers from Alberta and Ontario got here to a shocking conclusion, based on a narrative printed on the college’s web site:

Blye’s crew additionally in contrast the distinction between frontcountry, outlined as something accessible by automobile, and backcountry, that are recreation areas solely accessible by mountain climbing, paddling or snowboarding.

“Surprisingly, individuals who camp within the frontcountry maintain attitudes extra in line and extra supportive of Leave No Trace, which is reverse to our speculation,” she stated.

For instance, Blye stated when requested about urinating on vegetation relatively than on rock or pine needles, backcountry guests have been extra probably than their frontcountry counterparts to reply that it was applicable. Similar gaps in responses existed when requested about the appropriateness of situations involving travelling on established trails and leaving what you discover.

Blye speculated that as a result of frontcountry campers are uncovered to much more interplay with employees and signage, their attitudes higher mirrored the Leave No Trace ideas.

Fire is central to the tenting expertise. Marshmallows, s’mores (I don’t like them, however apparently many think about them important), sitting round staring into the flames and feeling elemental. That’s one thing that’s laborious to present up — as is the thought of burning issues typically. (Nova Scotians positive love a superb burn pile.)

The at all times insightful Clive Thompson wonders if a number of the resistance to renewables comes from the truth that they don’t require us to burn issues. The perception comes from Thompson’s dialog with Barbara Freese, the creator of Coal: A Human History:

If photo voltaic and wind really change into omnipresent, it will imply the top of people burning issues to create power.

That’s a really, very lengthy custom. Humans first used fire as an power supply for cooking in all probability two million years in the past. Then as agriculture took over “we had fire on the coronary heart of our of our home life,” Freese famous. The similar was true of the commercial revolution: With all these steam-powered factories, locomotives, after which automobiles and vehicles and planes and electrical power-plants, fire was typically on the coronary heart of it. Sure, we used nuclear and hydropower, however within the minority. Most of the time, after we moved massive issues round and generated electrical energy, we have been utilizing fire…

[A]s she talked, I spotted that Americans nonetheless do have a number of romance about combustion. Car-owners coo over the roar of a strong engine; I discover the thrum of a motorcyle sort of badass. Fire, burning, and combustion are tied up inextricably with many western concepts about energy itself — and I imply “energy” not in newtons and joules and kilowatt hours, however energy as in “the company to do issues, and to go locations”.

With renewables — photo voltaic and wind energy, significantly— all that age-old romance of fire, millennia within the making, goes away.

“We are — after we’re pondering about coping with the local weather disaster — we’re speaking about not burning stuff,” Freese famous. “Almost completely. Almost completely! To me that could be a big factor.”

Bill McKibben made the same level in his latest New Yorker essay, “In a World on Fire, Stop Burning Things“:

We don’t know when or the place people began constructing fires; as with all issues primordial there are disputes. But there isn’t any query of the second’s significance. Fire allow us to cook dinner meals, and cooked meals delivers way more power than uncooked; our brains grew whilst our guts, with much less processing work to do, shrank. Fire stored us heat, and human enterprise expanded to areas that have been in any other case too chilly. And, as we gathered round fires, we bonded in ways in which set us on the trail to forming societies. No surprise Darwin wrote that fire was “the best discovery ever made by man, excepting language.”

Darwin was writing within the years following the Industrial Revolution, as we discovered learn how to flip coal into steam energy, fuel into gentle, and oil into locomotion, all by means of combustion. Our species is determined by combustion; it made us human, after which it made us trendy. But, having spent millennia studying to harness fire, and three centuries utilizing it to vogue the world we all know, we should spend the following years systematically eradicating it. Because, taken collectively, these blazes—the fires beneath the hoods of 1.4 billion automobiles and within the properties of billions extra individuals, in large energy crops, and within the boilers of factories and the engines of airplanes ships—are extra harmful than probably the most highly effective volcanoes, dwarfing Krakatoa and Tambora…

In the place of these fires we maintain lit day and evening, it’s attainable for us to depend on the very fact that there’s a fire within the sky—an amazing ball of burning fuel about ninety-three million miles away, whose power might be collected in photovoltaic panels, and which differentially heats the Earth, driving winds whose power can now be harnessed with nice effectivity by generators. The electrical energy they produce can heat and funky our properties, cook dinner our meals, and energy our automobiles and bikes and buses. The solar burns, so we don’t have to.

Tedious “new atheist” Sam Harris got here up in opposition to the romance of fire a decade in the past, and wrote about it in his piece “The Fireplace Delusion.” Harris makes an analogy between non secular individuals not recognizing their beliefs are silly (I did say he was tedious) and the attachment individuals really feel for fire:

The case in opposition to burning wooden is each bit as clear because the case in opposition to smoking cigarettes…

I’ve found that once I make this case, even to very smart and health-conscious women and men, a psychological fact shortly turns into as seen as a pair of clenched fists: They don’t need to imagine any of it. Most individuals I meet need to stay in a world during which wooden smoke is innocent. Indeed, they appear dedicated to dwelling in such a world, whatever the information. To attempt to persuade them that burning wooden is dangerous—and has at all times been so—is someway offensive. The ritual of burning wooden is just too comforting and too acquainted to be reconsidered, its comfort so historical and ubiquitous that it needs to be benign.

I’ll depart you with a shot of a campfire we used to remain heat and cook dinner whereas backcountry tenting at Keji a couple of years in the past.

Fire burning in a metal fire box, with a cast iron pan on a grill above it.

Campfire at Kejimkujik National Park. Photo: Philip Moscovitch

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A woman in a ballcap holding a turtle. The text below her says,

Jill Fleming (@salamanderjill) and a few poor auto-generated alt textual content.

You could have observed that pictures within the Examiner include alt textual content. Alt textual content is textual content describing a photograph. For individuals who can not see the picture, the alt textual content offers an outline for display screen readers. That permits all readers to get pleasure from (or be infuriated by) the web site, with out offering a diminished expertise for some.

Alt textual content is simple so as to add on any web site or social media app. I’ve taken to including it to photographs I add to Twitter. I’ll admit that in the first place this appeared tedious, however like anything, when you determine to make it a observe you do it nearly robotically. (I do nonetheless often neglect, which I really feel dangerous about.)

As the picture above attests, don’t depend on alt textual content auto-generated by, say, Google or EnergyPoint, as a result of the outcomes are, properly, not nice. (Jill Fleming, pictured above, additionally shared a photograph of a lint curler stuffed with ticks, with auto-generated alt textual content saying it’s a close-up of a banana.)

There are numerous guides to writing alt textual content on the market, however I lately got here throughout this one, and thought it offers some good do’s and don’ts.

One of the errors I’ve undoubtedly dedicated is utilizing “Photo of” in my alt textual content:

It’s already assumed that your alt textual content will likely be for a photograph or picture, and a display screen reader will greater than probably say “picture of” earlier than or after studying your alt textual content.

The Jill Fleming picture comes from this submit. If you might have every other alt textual content ideas, be happy to drop them within the feedback.

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Special Meeting – Regional Centre Community Council (Wednesday, 10am, on-line) — agenda

Design Advisory Committee (Wednesday, 4:30pm, on-line) — agenda


Appeals Standing Committee (Thursday, 10am, City Hall) — agenda


No conferences

On campus



PhD Defence, Interdisciplinary PhD Program (Wednesday, 9:30am, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building and on-line) — Jenny Weitzman will defend “Holistic Carrying Capacity for Salmon Aquaculture: The Role of Social Values”

PhD Defence, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Wednesday, 1:30pm, Room 3107, Mona Campbell Building and on-line) — Bryan Maciag will defend “Geochemistry of Arsenic in Magmatic Systems with Some Results for Antimony”


ArchPlan and Bookstore Spring Garden Road pop-up (Thursday, 11am, Medjuck Building garden, 5410 Spring Garden Road) — The Dalhousie Bookstore and pupil ambassadors from the Faculty of Architecture and Planning will likely be on website on the Sexton campus to speak with passersby about the actions and packages out there within the Faculty. The Bookstore can have Dalhousie merchandise out there, and books from Dalhousie Architectural Press. Note: this occasion won’t proceed if the climate is inclement.

In the harbour

05:15: CMA CGM J. Madison, container ship (140,872 tonnes), sails from Pier 41 for New York
06:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, arrives at Pier 41 from St. John’s
07:30: Acadian, oil tanker, arrives at Irving Oil from Saint John
10:00: Atlantic Sail, ro-ro container, arrives at Fairview Cove from Liverpool, England
10:30: Atlantic Sea, ro-ro container, sails from Fairview Cove for Hamburg, Germany
16:00: Orange Spirit, reefer, arrives at anchorage from Dutch Harbor, Alaska by way of the Panama Canal
22:00: Orange Spirit sails for sea
22:30: Atlantic Sail sails for New York

Cape Breton
04:30: Rossi A. Desgagnes, chemical tanker, sails from Government Wharf (Sydney) for Corner Brook
06:00: Caribbean Princess, cruise ship with up to three,756 passengers, arrives at Marine Terminal (Sydney) from Charlottetown, on a 10-day cruise from Quebec City to New York
13:30: MM Newfoundland, barge, and Lois M., tug, sails from Iona for sea
15:30: Caribbean Princess sails for Halifax
18:30: Front Crown, oil tanker, sails from Point Tupper for sea
21:00: Cherokee, oil tanker, arrives at Point Tupper from New York


Highly advocate writing whereas sitting on the deck with a mild breeze blowing.

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